Recently a lady in California began using hypnosis to become a “brainless” Barbie. (Video)
Although her approach is extreme, is it wrong that she wants to look like Barbie? Not necessarily. We all desire beauty, but being “brainless” is cause for concern. It’s possible this lady has “body dysmorphia” which is an excessive misperception and dislike of some aspect of the body.
For me, if a client had this request, I would explore motives and share the downside of such a choice (i.e. potential harm and a fragile Barbie business).
But, can hypnosis help her become brainless? Yes and no.
The Case for Yes?
Hypnosis is the way we learn and unlearn. It’s how our brain records information for later retrieval. When we’re born, we’re in a state of hypnosis, recording the world around us, learning from others and practicing. We’re quickly trying to understand the world so we don’t die.
Blondie Bennett has been doing online hypnosis sessions. The hypnotist (from the UK based on his accent) is using a hypnotic technique called “direct suggestion” where he gives positive or negative suggestions to encourage or discourage a habit. Direct suggestion can be effective, but frequently it is too general and can erode because of internal conflict.
In contrast, the hypnotherapeutic process I use is more in-depth and specifically addresses events that cause internal conflicts, fears and self-sabotages. It also has a higher success rate at helping people change.
So, yes, if we can unlearn fears and limiting beliefs, we can unlearn wisdom, or block ourselves from using it. For instance, recently I decided to improve my reading retention. I’d been skim reading because of time or the material was entertainment or I thought the information could easily be relocated.
I also was teaching my brain to not retain information effectively! So, I used hypnosis to reveal those habits and change them. Amazingly, my reading retention has improved and I’m perceiving my environment more vividly. I realized I’d been skimming my life like my reading materials! Maybe I’d become a type of Barbie?
[Subtopic: Why did skim reading morph into skim living? The brain recognizes patterns and shift skills from one application to another to conserve energy and be efficient. Unfortunately, it’s a survival mechanism that’s not applicable to all things.]
[Related topics: ADD and ADHD. These phenomena could be unintentionally learned behaviors. They’re picked up based on situations and environments and reinforced thru emotional and perceptual stigmas. In fact, many of my clients working on other issues found their ADD or ADHD (and sleeplessness) improved as their brain became less cluttered and more efficient at processing.]
The Case for No?
To consistently become brainless, it would take time — a lot of time. Our survival mechanism would tend to fight it. Also, being brainless would interfere with learning to be brainless. At best, Blondie could achieve an inconsistent brainlessness.
In fact, although she’s noticing more forgetfulness, she’s actually just focusing on “happy things.” Also, the act of noticing the behavior is not brainless so this is only situational brainlessness and not pervasive.
Ultimately, is being brainless what she really wants? Maybe she really wants to be peaceful and carefree? In fact, at the end of the interview she is more accepting of herself as a Barbie and not afraid of being her vision of beauty. She is more significantly happier than she is brainless. A good hypnotherapist or counselor could help her understand herself better.
But What About …?
What about stage hypnosis? Yes, in stage hypnosis, people sing like Elvis and dance like a ballerina. Hypnosis helps them suspend their inhibitions (programming) but this is short-term and based on freewill. No one is compelled.
Do people forget in hypnosis? No. Hypnosis is how we learn and we would die as a species if it caused us to forget.
But a friend forgot that she became a ballerina after stage hypnosis. She either thought she was supposed to forget, or she pretended to forget because she felt silly.
But what if I want to forget? No. It would merely become a suppressed or repressed memory still fueled by emotion with the ability to sabotage. It’s better if the memory is resolved or healed.
What if I can’t be hypnotized? No, you would be dead. Or functionally brainless and all the real-life Barbies would envy you.
So What Can Hypnosis Do?
Hypnosis can help us relax and change ingrained mental patterns more easily. Think of the brain as a matrix that takes considerable energy to make and unmake. Unfortunately, what helped us “survive” when we were children may not help us thrive when we are adults. Also, because of our ability to transfer patterns, rules like “don’t talk back to teachers or parents” becomes “don’t speak up to anyone.”
Ultimately, Blondie/Barbie is no different than anyone else. She wants peace of mind and to be accepted by herself and others. Many people want to achieve that. It’s often why people distract themselves with excess food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and sex.
With hypnotherapy, we can help people heal the reasons why they don’t accept themselves. We can help people achieve peace of mind and live a more effective life. Who wouldn’t want that?
P.S. Barbie isn’t brainless. She’s had over 130 careers including architect, pilot, vet, CEO, and presidential candidate.
1) Create resolutions that are clear and definable. Instead of saying “I’m going to be healthier” or “Get outside more” or “Have more ‘Me’ time”, determine what that actually means. Are you going to lose 10 pounds, go for a walk 4 times a week, or decide that you get to learn guitar.
2) Be optimistic. Yes, you may have tried this resolution before, but this is the best time, with all your previous efforts supporting you.
3) Be realistic. Don’t plan on losing 100 lbs in a year.
4) Believe there is no failure. If you have some missteps, think of it as just practicing!
If you would like more guidance, here’s an article I’ve updated to help along the way:
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